Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In Ukraine the conscription campaign for the army continues. The military appeal is ongoing, but not very successfully, therefore the military registration and enlistment offices, backed up by the police, started catching recruits. On the streets of Kiev real round-ups of men started. They are hunted down in the most crowded places.
As it was succeeded to find out, the strengthened military patrols in the city will last until December 7th. But there is no guarantee that it won’t repeat again – after all, the end of the autumn draft comes closer, while the military has a serious shortage of recruits.
We found out how Ukrainians are being caught on the streets.
“I was held for three hours” – Scandal near the Lesnaya Metro
On December 5th on social networks information appeared about people in uniforms carrying out raids for the purpose of catching young people who evade military service. This was reported by the project manager of “dtp.kiev.ua” Vladislav Antonov on his Facebook page.
The evaders are interrogated by employees of the Desnyansky military registration and enlistment office together with local police officers.
Special operation from December 5 to December 7
In the comments to Antonov’s post it was mentioned that the Lesnaya metro is not the only place in Kiev where men of military age are being caught.
“Today the same situation happened for me too, at the Teremki metro station. (at 08:00) directly near the metro there were two people in civilian clothes and 3 people in police uniforms catching people. They were brought by car to the military registration and enlistment office,” wrote the user Sergey Gutnichenko, who was brought to the military commissariat.
There he was held for three hours while they looked for his personal record. After this Gutnichenko was released, according to him.
“This, according to them, is a special operation – from 5.12.18-7.12.18 inclusive,” wrote the user, referring to the words of representatives of the military registration and enlistment office. According to Gutnichenko, at first the police address to men and propose to go to the military registration and enlistment office. And there it is military personnel who deal with the person.
“In my presence, in the military registration and enlistment office, 3 guys were sent directly to the medical commission. Two of them were captured and taken away in a bus in an unknown direction,” wrote the user.
There is a similar situation in other cities of Ukraine. Yesterday it became known that recruits were being caught in Cherkassy – there they were detained by the National Guard.
“What are you transporting, monkeys or people,” the indignant voices can be heard saying. “My son was shipped like in a monkey crate,” said the guy’s mother, who was at the scene of the incident.
In the market at the Lesnaya Metro information about round-ups was confirmed to “Vesti”.
“They (military and police) have been coming to the market for already 3 days – they come in the mornings and check the documents of both young people and those who are 40. I had no documents on me and was obliged to go with them to the military registration and enlistment office. It was good that my wife was able to bring my papers, from which it obviously follows that I don’t evade, and I was released,” said one of the sellers.
Information about the checks was confirmed to “Vesti” by the Darnitsky military registration and enlistment office in Kiev.
“Military commissariats ID recruits and persons liable for military service who actually live in a certain territory but are not registered with the military registration and enlistment office. The military registration and enlistment offices have powers to ID such citizens. Thus they are obliged to involve employees of the National Police, since a military commissar can’t independently detain such citizens and apply force to them. And the National Police at the request of commissariats are obliged to search and detain citizens who evade military service,” said the department.
At the same time, lawyers note that the detentions are illegal. Recruits can be summoned by military registration and enlistment offices of recruits only by means of subpoenas. Or, if the subpoenas are ignored and the recruit obviously evades service, military registration and enlistment offices have the right to involve the police.
Military registration and enlistment offices have no right to catch people of military age on the street without handing over a subpoena first.
This is considered to be illegal detention. In this case, lawyers advise to call the police and, if possible, lawyers.
It should be noted that rounding-up recruits has been ongoing since October – when the autumn draft started. Now the situation has been aggravated by martial law, which on the one hand isn’t present in Kiev, but on the other hand reservists are called up throughout the country. And, probably, not only them.
“Strana” recalled the last high-profile conflicts with summonses.
The conflict in Kharkov
At the end of October it was reported that in the Kharkov region the military captured a guy by his sleeve directly on the street and didn’t release him. The young man demanded an explanation of the grounds that he is being detained on. A police officer stood nearby and didn’t do anything. The young man tried to escape, however the military personnel caught up with him and threw him to the floor. Allegedly the incident happened in Kupyansk.
Protest in Volyn
In the Volyn region at the end of November the relatives of recruits gathered outside the walls of the regional military registration and enlistment office and impeded the departure of a bus with recruits onboard. The deputy military commissioner of the regional military registration and enlistment office Yury Kucher said that most of the recruits in the buses were evaders and were wanted. It was suggested to the relatives of the recruits to write statements about an illegal summons, but as a result only one woman actually did this.
Hunting for recruits in Ivano-Frankovsk
In Ivano-Frankovsk at the beginning of November workers of the Municipal Guard, National Police, and the military commissariat looked for recruits on the city streets and brought them to the military registration and enlistment office.
“We are looking for them in the evening, on benches, we communicate and thus take them to the military registration and enlistment office. There they are handed a summons. After the summons has been handed over criminal liability follows, and it is then already more difficult to not show up at the military registration and enlistment office,” said the chief of the Municipal Guard Andrey Prusak. Thus, one day law enforcement officers combed all the main institutions of the city. The military registration and enlistment office caught 17 people and handed over four summonses. “So, recruits, you have to stay at home in the evening,” stated the mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv.
The appeal is on the verge of collapse
The appeal began on October 1st and will continue for three months. At the beginning of November the military commissioner of Kiev Sergey Klyavlin said that the campaign is on the verge of collapse. At that moment less than 40% were enrolled in comparison with what was previously planned .
“In the spring we practically had no failures, but now we are on the verge of collapse. Now the turnout of conscripts at registration sites is only 8%. Citizens/residents of Kiev didn’t address to the draft centers and still fail to do so,” said Klyavlin. According to the commissioner, the inhabitants of Kiev are hunted down with the help of the National Police and are taken to draft centers, where their suitability for military service is assessed.
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